Slashed tires highlight benefits of insurance coverage

Matt
Matt Gardner
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An east end resident dodged a bullet over the weekend by upgrading her vehicle insurance mere hours before the tires of her vehicle were slashed.

Several other cars along Bowerman Crescent saw their tires slashed last week, making Meghan MacFarlane one of the area’s more fortunate residents.

“We were lucky because we saw it happen Friday night to our neighbours, so I went down Saturday afternoon (and) put a package policy on our cars,” said MacFarlane, who also works in digital sales and products for the Daily Herald.

“I called the cops and I’m like, ‘OK, you guys have to come down here and take a statement because my insurance is going to think I’m scamming them, because I just did this,’” she added with a chuckle.

“But at SGI they said that’s quite common. If they have a series of (acts of) vandalism … the insurance for that neighbourhood suddenly goes up because people come in and get freaked out like we did.”

The first signs of tire slashing on Bowerman occurred sometime on Thursday night, when MacFarlane woke to find that tires had been slashed at the property next door, two across the street and an additional residence further down the street.

On Friday and Saturday night, vandals slashed the tires of an additional three vehicles in the area. MacFarlane noted that her mother returned home around 2 a.m. to find the tires in normal condition, but that they by daybreak they had been slashed.

Taking a proactive approach to the threat, MacFarlane on Saturday upgraded her insurance to comprehensive coverage, which covered all forms of vandalism with a deductible of $50.

“I was lucky because I only have to pay $50,” she said. “My tires, one was $127 and one was $147.

“My mom, though, her tires are 83 bucks and her insurance deductible is $100, so what does she do? She filed a claim and then she’s like, ‘Well, I guess I’d better close my claim, because what’s the point in having that?’”

Make sure you have comprehensive coverage. Meghan MacFarlane

MacFarlane noted that the slashed tires prevailed in an area of the street with back alley open parking, while a section further down with more garages managed to elude the vandalism.

She also pointed to the prevalence of overgrown trees along the street that can provide ample hiding spaces for passing miscreants.

In any case, she reiterated her advice for owners of vehicles that may be at risk of vandalism: “Make sure you have comprehensive coverage.”

Prince Albert Police Sgt. Brandon Mudry said the vandalism on Bowerman Crescent reflected the increased foot traffic in the city during the summer months, which tends to carry with it a rise in wilful damage to vehicles or other property.

“With the nice weather, I think there’s just that many more people … moving around the community at all different hours,” Mudry said.

“Unfortunately, when you get people moving around like that, sometimes decisions are made that aren’t the greatest and that can result in (vandalism) -- whether it be slashed tires or broken windows or theft from motor vehicles.”

While police will assign patrol cars to different areas of the city after receiving reports of vandalism, Mudry said the most important thing was for the public to maintain vigilance for any signs of suspicious activity.

“If they have the opportunity to park inside, park inside,” he added. “Park under a well-lit area … Just keep your eyes and ears open and maybe let your neighbours know that there’s been an incident -- and certainly let the police know.”

Organizations: Daily Herald, Prince Albert

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  • nobody
    July 10, 2014 - 20:04

    surveillance cameras are dirt cheap nowadays and are the perfect counterforce against crimes like these